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What About Your Friends?

Drake may have said there's no friends in the industry, but Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union are proving him wrong.

Both actresses have achieved groundbreaking success in Hollywood and have also thrived in entrepreneurship. Taraji made a name for herself starring in Baby Boy as well as Hustle and Flow, Hidden Figures and the popular TV drama Empire. Gabrielle became a household name thanks to Bring It On, as well as Deliver Us from Eva, and the hit TV show Being Mary Jane. The two also starred in Think Like a Man and Think Like a Man Too together.

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While this might seem like a bit of a left field kind of article, please believe there is a method to the madness 'cause, y'all…Y'ALL. If there's one thing that is pretty big in Black culture (because interestingly enough, several white people I know actually needed me to break down what a godparent even is…hmph), especially in Black church culture, it's the concept of children having a set of godparents. Typically, they are formally introduced to the world (relatively speaking) when a little one is getting blessed or dedicated (or christened) to the Lord.

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Uh-huh. The title alone lets you know that there is so much to unpack here, so take a deep breath and let's knock this one out so that we all can get free, amen? I guess a good place to start would be with a personal example of why I think this is a topic that should be tackled more often. OK, so there's someone I know who, twice, called me because they needed money for their bills. Because I considered them to be a friend, let's just say that I took care of more than a month because I knew how down on their times they were. Y'all but when someone (several months later) in my family died and I asked them if I could use some of their frequent flyer miles (because they had a ton and clearly this was an emergency), their response was, "I plan on going on a lot of trips this year, so I don't want to give those up." Honey, someone died. DIED.

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The hurt still lingers. It lingers even though I am now in a good space. I'm slaying my goals, manifesting my dreams, and my life is unfolding beautifully. I have no complaints. But this is a pain that has not softened.

Why won't this hurt leave? Why can't I release this feeling?

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OK. I'm gonna start this off by saying, out the gate, that dating a friend is a bit of a complex topic. On one hand, I'm a huge advocate of it because I wholeheartedly agree with what the late and great R&B singer Johnny Kemp once said when he sang, "the best of friends can be lovers, after all". Indeed. In fact, let me tell it, a lot of marriages would go the distance if folks actually married, not just "a friend" but someone they consider to be their best (highest quality, highest standing, most excellent, most suitable) friend. Why? Basically, because we tend to have so much more tolerance, understanding and willingness to work things out when someone is our very best friend. When we see them as anything less, not so much.

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Y'all, if there's one thing I've got in my life, it's successful friends. For one thing, about 90 percent of them are doing exactly what they want to do in life. Secondly, around 65 percent of them are making a living without reporting to anyone but themselves. And three, around 40-50 percent of them are pretty well-known. Because of this winning combo, there are times when people will ask me if I ever have moments when I feel a tinge of jealousy.

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